CIC Photonics, Inc.
based in Albuquerque, NEW MEXICO (USA)
The threat of terror in the form of chemical and biological warfare agents has been a reality globally since March 1995, when the Aum Shinrikyo sect killed 12 people and injured nearly 6,000 by releasing sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway system. More recently, the 2001 anthrax attacks in the USA was a wake-up call that the threat is real. Recent outbreaks of H1N1 and SARS posed threats of worldwide epidemics because air travel provides a means for these diseases to spread globally in less than 24 hours. A major concern of several US government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not only the detection of hazardous chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWA) or bacteria or viruses that pose an epidemic threat, but the timely decontamination of those agents to a level where they no longer pose a threat to human health and life. The solution requires a means to monitor the effectiveness of the decontaminating reactant or reactants to an endpoint that has been reliably shown to be more than 99% effective in rendering the targeted agents harmless under controlled conditions.